BOSTON (CBS) — UConn football is the first in the country at something. On Wednesday, the university announced that it has canceled its 2020 football season, making it the first D-1 FBS school to do so.
Huskies football was supposed to have its first season as an independent in 2020, but has called off the season due to safety challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After receiving guidance from state and public health officials and consulting with football student-athletes, we’ve decided that we will not compete on the gridiron this season,” director of athletics David Benedict said in a release regarding Wednesday’s announcement. “The safety challenges created by COVID-19 place our football student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk.”
The school made the decision after consulting with head coach Randy Edsall and his players.
“We engaged and listened to the concerns of our football student-athletes and feel this is the best decision for their health, safety, and well-being,” Edsall said. “Our team is united in this approach and we will use this time to further player development within the program and gear ourselves to the 2021 season.”
“As a team we are in full support of the decision to not compete in 2020,” UConn’s student athletes said in a joint statement. “We have many health concerns and not enough is known about the potential long term effects of contracting COVID-19. Additionally, we have not had the optimal time to train mentally & physically to be properly prepared to compete this season. We love this game and love competing. We came to campus in the beginning of July knowing there would be challenges presented by the pandemic but it is apparent to us now that these challenges are impossible to overcome.”
A handful of UConn’s games had already been canceled due to travel concerns ahead of Wednesday’s announcement. UConn was set to open their season against UMass on Sept. 3, so the Minutemen will also have to find a new opponent.